Boom Supersonic, the US company seeking to bring supersonic aircraft back to the passenger aviation industry, has confirmed a notable investment by Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Investment Fund (NIF).
Boom said that the investment from NIF, the strategic investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s $500bn urban area megaproject NEOM, will also include collaboration on opportunities to make the region more accessible through supersonic flight as the company builds towards the first flight of its XB-1 proof-of-concept aircraft.
Boom Supersonic founder and CEO Blake Scholl said: “We’re excited to collaborate with partners and investors around the globe as we work to realise our shared vision.”
Though the exact investment has not been disclosed, it was first revealed by NEOM during the inauguration of its NIF arm alongside other technology and transport companies, including electric seaglider company Regent.
NIF’s role in the company will also sit alongside the region’s own NEOM Airlines, which is scheduled to launch by the end of 2024 and has been teased to include supersonic aircraft from 2026 by CEO Klaus Goersch.
Upon announcing the Boom investment as part of NIF’s inauguration, NIF CEO Majid Mufti said: “The NIF strategy is designed to align NEOM’s development objectives with those of innovators and institutional investors, de-risking opportunities for them to participate in creating core global growth businesses and a thriving economy in NEOM.”
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The investment will likely be seen as another move by Saudi Arabia to further grow its power and presence in the aviation industry, especially following the introduction of Riyadh Air, a second flag carrier for the Kingdom, at the Paris Air Show in June.
Earlier this year, Boom Supersonic’s demonstrator aircraft, the XB-1, received an experimental airworthiness certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration amid ground testing of the vehicle before its first flight later this year, with Boom also confirming the recent completion of its Flight Readiness Review.
The company, founded in 2014, is hoping to use the vehicle to demonstrate technology that will later be used in its Overture aircraft, described as the world’s fastest airliner.